I am honored to welcome Brian Cuban as a guest blogger.
Brian is a well-known Dallas attorney and speaker in the areas of social media, hate speech on the internet and medical marijuana. He writes extensively on these subjects and others on his widely read blog, The Cuban Revolution and discussed on his highly popular Revolution Rant Blog Radio Show. He has appeared on Fox News and has been invited to speak on these subjects at prestigious locations such as South By Southwest,®, BlogWorld,™ The , The Anti-Defamation League®,and Facebook Corporate®, to name a few, along with various colleges and universities.
Brian’s is currently working on his first book, “Hate Gone Viral“.
Brian (Twitter: (@bcuban) is one of the Four Horsemen of the Blawgocalpyse ™ (along with Scott Greenfield to whom tribute was paid in a previous post; Brian Tannebaum and Mark Bennett, who also guest blogged before).
Brian lives in Dallas, Texas where he cheers on the Pittsburgh Pirates and Dallas Mavericks and watches Scarface, The Godfather and other classic films of the genre, religiously. According to Brian, he is not Cuban. Also, his resting pulse rate is 35-40 beats per minute. In the following post, Brian is sure to raise s0me readers’ pulse rates considerably.
Free Speech on Fire
The Koran is not being burned in Dearborn Michigan but the 1st Amendment has gone up in flames.
In what was a 1st amendment busting egregious display of prior restraint, Koran burning Pastor Terry Jones was prohibited from staging a protest in front of Islamic Center of America. Jones was briefly jailed when a jury found that he presented a danger of “breach of peace”. He was tried under a Michigan law dating back to 1846 requiring people judged to present a risk to public order to post a “peace bond.” He was released on 1-dollar bond and a promise that he would not go near the Mosque for three years.
Prior to trial, the city had demanded up to a 100k “peace bond” from Jones in order to hold the protest. He refused to pay and hence the trial.
Let’s start with the fact that peace bonds themselves are an outdated and unconstitutional form of prior restraint. The case brings back memories of the highly controversial plans to march on the predominantly Jewish community of Skokie Illinois by The National Socialist Party. The community of Skokie attempted to pass various ordinances including one requiring the posting of a bond designed to specifically prevent the march. The city used arguments similar to the ones used by the Dearborn District Attorney to block the Mosque protest. In Skokie, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the right of the National Socialist Party of America to march. The Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal, validating the developing national policy that even the most unpopular of speech in the most unpopular of circumstances, merits First Amendment protection. This is a privilege we take for granted and often willingly disregard when we are offended. We can try to regulate violent actions but we simply cannot universalize a moral compass where speech is concerned.
The verdict and bond requirement will certainly be overturned on appeal, as it should be. It is hard on the ears but necessary that the freedoms we enjoy include the rantings of The Westboro Baptist Church, Koran burning, the vitriolic protests of Pastor Jones and Nazi thugs. If the 1st Amendment does not work for them, it does not work for anyone.